Giovanni Brusca, “killer of people” of the Sicilian Mafia, released after 25 years in prison
Brusca, 64, was arrested in 1996, four years after the attack that killed Falcone, his wife and three police officers. After becoming a state renegade, he aided prosecutors in their crackdown on the Cosa Nostra clans.
The assassination of Falcone, followed two months later by that of his fellow anti-mafia magistrate Paolo Borsellino, was one of the most notorious episodes in Italy’s long and violent fight against organized crime.
Brusca, known as the “killer of people,” confessed to his role in more than 100 murders, including the death of a 14-year-old boy, Giuseppe Di Matteo, who was killed and dissolved in acid because that he was the son of a mafia informant.
“He only collaborated with the justice system to obtain advantages, it was not a personal and intimate choice,” Corriere della Sera Rosaria Costa, widow of a police officer who died in the Falcone attack, told the daily. .
Maria Falcone, the judge’s sister, said she was “saddened” by the news but that the law gave Brusca the right to be released from prison.
Brusca provided investigators with information on several deadly Cosa Nostra attacks in the 1980s and 1990s and testified in a trial regarding alleged negotiations between Italian officials and Mafiosi to stop the bombings.
Brusca – who had already been granted leave from prison several times – will be on parole for four years, Italian media reported.
“No matter what one may think of the atrocities he committed at the time, there was a collaboration … Let’s not forget that he gave information about attacks both in Sicily and in mainland Italy, “chief anti-mafia prosecutor Federico Cafiero De. Raho told Reuters.
“Obviously the judges thought it was the appropriate prison sentence,” he added.
Several Italian politicians have condemned Brusca’s release.
“This is not the ‘justice’ that Italians deserve,” said Matteo Salvini, leader of the right-wing League which leads the polls.